What ZICO’s Founder Looks for When Investing in Consumer Companies

By: CircleUp *This is the second of two posts from our webinar with ZICO cofounder Mark Rampolla* ZICO was Mark Rampolla’s first foray into consumer packaged goods (CPGs). But despite the coconut water company’s wild success, Mark says there are still things he would have done differently if he were to start a beverage company—especially ...

What Investors Really Want To See In a Consumer Packaged Goods Company

By: CircleUp *This is the first of two posts about our recent webinar with ZICO founder Mark Rampolla. Mark Rampolla achieved what many founders only dream of: he built a beverage company that sparked Coca Cola’s interest. Now an investor in consumer packaged goods (CPGs) himself—both through CircleUp’s platform and his fund Powerplant Ventures—Mark sees a ...

A Boom of Innovation in Personal Care, as seen at Cosmoprof 2016

By: CircleUp One of the best places to find emerging trends in personal care is Cosmoprof North America. This year, there were about 34,000 attendees and 1,150 exhibitors. The event was chock full of innovative brands showcasing new products that cater to consumer demands for authenticity and quality. This comes at a time when big brands ...

2016 Superzoo Recap: Our Top Trends and Brands

Last week, our Business Development team hit the grounds of Las Vegas for Superzoo, a tradeshow swarming with innovative brands in pet food, treats, and accessories. This year’s Superzoo confirmed that the pet industry is chock full of new products that are higher quality, more unique, and more sustainable than in years past. Here are ...

CircleUp25: The 25 Most Innovative Consumer Brands of 2016

It’s rare when one of the biggest sectors of our economy experiences massive change. The change is so pervasive, it can sometimes fly under the radar since it’s constantly happening right under our noses. Consumer and retail is seeing tremendous innovation, and it has once-dominant, big industry players stumbling. CircleUp25 recognizes trailblazers leading this innovation. Previous ...

How to Close Your Funding Round

This post features an essential closing checklist, downloadable and printable here, which we helped create for entrepreneurs to guide and monitor fundraising periods. Fundraising is really hard to do, no matter how attractive the company. It is especially hard in for emerging consumer and retail brands, where there’s no centralized network surfacing the most promising ...

Which Are the Most Innovative Consumer Brands of 2016?

Every year, new products and services are making life better for millions of consumers. Breakthrough brands and products are changing what we put in our bodies, in our homes and our communities. We celebrate these innovations with the CircleUp25, our annual list of the brands that are breaking through. Have a nomination? There are two ...

How the Rise of Marketplace Investing Will Change Finance

In five years, no one will be talking about crowdfunding. The term is inherently flawed, as it focuses on the wrong side of any investment: the donor/investor. And it’s become too broad to be meaningful. The missions of the leading players are widely misunderstood, even by their own users. ‘Crowdfunding’ conflates a variety of very ...

The JOBS Act Title III is A Step In The Right Direction, But Comes Up Short

At this point, CircleUp has decided not to actively pursue fundraises under Title III. We are excited about the promise of a more accessible private equity market, but believe that the Title’s regulations create too many burdens for entrepreneurs and adverse selection for investors. What is Title III? The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act ...

Why Early-Stage Consumer Entrepreneurs Are Having More Success Fundraising

Companies that sell food, clothes and packaged goods are less profitable than companies pushing software and online services, right? Not exactly. Saar Gur, a general partner at Charles River Ventures, a multi-billion technology venture capital fund, recently published detailed research challenging conventional wisdom about the potential for consumer product companies. Gur’s research (reproduced with expressed ...